Is a World Dictator About to Appear?
Although the Trumpet covers many world events, social, economic and religious issues in our monthly editions, there is one core message in one key, unfolding world event that the Trumpet has continued to monitor from its inception. That is simply the same event headlined in the first issue of the Plain Truth in February 1934. In fact, it is a news story that commenced unfolding back in 31 b.c. with the rise of the Roman Empire.
In an allegory associating Rome’s seven hills with seven successive governments, or revivals of the Roman Empire, the book of Revelation states, “And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space” (Rev. 17:10).
Up to the early 1930s, when the Plain Truth was born, most remained blind as to the meaning of the words of this prophecy. Yet, when Herbert Armstrong began to publish this most extraordinary of newsmagazines, the meaning had become startlingly clear to him.
Herbert Armstrong knew that the biblical book of Revelation was given by its Author not to hide, but rather “to show…things which must shortly come to pass” (Rev. 1:1). So it was that this unique man, who in his latter years associated with kings, princes, prime ministers, presidents and leaders of nations all over the world, came to see that the five fallen “kings” mentioned in Revelation 17:10 showed that five revivals of the Roman Empire under the aegis of the Roman papacy had occurred up to that time. These “resurrections” of the Roman Empire were under the successive leadership of Justinian, enthroned as emperor in a.d. 554, Charlemagne (Karl the Great to the Germans), crowned in a.d. 800, Otto the Great in a.d. 962, Charles V (commencing the Habsburg dynasty) in 1530, and Napoleon who crowned himself emperor in 1804.
But the forecast in Revelation 17:10 referred to one revival of the Roman Empire being extant at the very time that the mysterious vision of the book of Revelation would first come to be understood: “and one is….” Thus it was that Herbert Armstrong came to see that the dictator Benito Mussolini was that one that is, at that time, in the 1930s, prior to and during the onset of World War II. In one of his final articles which appeared, following his death, in the Plain Truth magazine, he reflected: “In 1929 Mussolini arranged a Concordat with the papacy. Then about 1935 Mussolini, having united Ethiopia, Eritrea and Italian Somaliland to Italy, proclaimed it to be the reestablishment of the Roman Empire. I announced the news of this ninth restoration myself on radio at the time” (Plain Truth, March 1986).
Mr. Armstrong also referred to the “one” that “is” at the time of the prophecy as being Mussolini—or the Hitler-Mussolini axis (Plain Truth, Oct. 1962).
This weak sixth revival, in the sequence of the seven resurrections of the Roman Empire, within the context of the Apostle John’s vision, left one final revival to come: “…the other is not yet come.”
Now, keep in mind that Mr. Armstrong came to this understanding before hostilities commenced between the Axis powers and the Western Allies in 1939.
I quote from a letter that Mr. Armstrong wrote to readers of the Plain Truth magazine on July 24, 1983: “The very first issue of the Plain Truth magazine appeared February 1934—just 50 years ago lacking about six months. The article starting on the cover page warned of a coming sudden appearance of a resurrected ‘Holy Roman Empire’ in Europe—a union of ten nations in Europe under one government, with one united military force. For 50 years I have been crying out to the world the Bible prophecies of this coming ‘United States of Europe’—a new united superpower perhaps more powerful than either the Soviet Union or the United States!”
Time and time again, Herbert Armstrong and many of the writers that served on the staff of the Plain Truth magazine pointed to news events that were leading to the inevitable rise of a European fascist federation, under the spiritual influence of the Vatican, which would rival and even overtake the U.S. and Britain commercially, economically and, ultimately, militarily. Prior to World War II, Mr. Armstrong predicted this. During the heat of the Battle of Britain, he continued to forecast it. When Germany lay defeated, crushed to dust under the onslaught of the British Commonwealth and American forces, still he proclaimed the future resurrection of Germany to dominate a European combine that would be the final revival of the Holy Roman Empire.
Read the following extracts, taken verbatim from the Plain Truth magazine over its 52 years under the leadership of its founder, Herbert W. Armstrong. Read—and wonder. Wonder—and understand! This is living prophecy—unbreakable, unchangeable prophecy of inevitable events which are now coming to a sudden climax right before your eyes!
Out of the Ashes
Less than ten years following World War II, Mr. Armstrong was able to reinforce his pre-war claims of a German revival to lead to a united Europe. “In February, 1945—just a few months before the end of the war—President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill announced the joint American-British policy on Germany. This was the solemn policy and warning for the future. Listen.
“Quote: ‘It is our inflexible purpose to destroy German militarism and Nazism and to insure Germany will never again be able to disturb the peace of the world. We are determined to disarm and disband all German armed forces; break up for all time the German General Staff that has repeatedly contrived the resurgence of German militarism….’ And now, a short nine years later, behold the spectacle of Washington and London making every possible diplomatic effort, backed by American dollars, to do two things: Create a United States of Europe, and to rearm Germany” (Plain Truth, Nov./Dec. 1954).
With Europe almost rebuilt, through the massive aid of the U.S. Marshall Plan, but still disunited, Mr. Armstrong forecast, in the same edition of the Plain Truth, “Germany inevitably would emerge as the leader of a united Europe. It will require some spiritual binding force to inspire this confidence—to remove these fears—and that spiritual binding force must arise from inside Europe!
“All Europe is actually ready—just waiting for the confidence-inspiring leader—an international all-European Hitler, and it is on the way. That man is there somewhere” (ibid.).
These quotations taken from the Plain Truth magazine of 46 years ago contain the essence of one of the most powerful prophecies in the Bible—a prophecy in which Mr. Armstrong had supreme confidence of its inevitable fulfillment.
When the Berlin blockade was mounted by the Russians in an attempt to starve the population of that city and stymie their business, the Plain Truth continued to declare that Germany would revive to lead a united Europe to power. Mr. Armstrong continued to warn of the rising threat on the western side of the Iron Curtain: “It is this European Common Market that is fast winning the world trade war! It is being done in a way America doesn’t realize. The United States seems sound asleep to this danger” (Plain Truth, July 1961).
When Kruschev declared, in 1961, that Russia had the right to seize West Berlin, the Plain Truth continued with the same powerful message. “The United States (and Great Britain) face an irreconcilable situation. They must fight for Berlin or be intimidated and finally conquered by the Soviet system…. Yet if they fight for Berlin they face ultimate economic extinction at the hands of the already powerful ‘Third World Force’: Euromart…the coming United States of Europe!” (Oct. 1961).
The Berlin Wall
Even when the Berlin Wall went up in 1961, splitting Germany in two, Mr. Armstrong continued to declare that Europe would unite under German leadership!
“More than 27 years ago I proclaimed over the air, and wrote in the Plain Truth, the Bible prophecy that the old Roman Empire was going to come to life—in our time. I said it would come as a United States of Europe…. Americans and Britons do not seem to fathom that Germany is once again a power to be reckoned with! Make no mistake! Nuclear war will not come over the Berlin crisis! But out of it all—in a very short time—a United States of Europe will!” (Plain Truth, Sept. 1961).
The pages of the Plain Truth, under Mr. Armstrong’s inspired leadership, cried out that same message for decades throughout the cold-war era.
“…I have consistently proclaimed for 28 years that a politically and militarily united Europe is coming! And today, the economic phase of this eec [European Economic Community] is hardly mentioned. Today most of the newspaper talk is about political union—a united political Europe!
“The coming united military Europe is still hush-hush and little heard of. But that is the real goal!” (Oct. 1962).
As the Western world’s view of Europe was fixated on the Berlin Wall, Mr. Armstrong continued to look beyond it. “West Germans keep looking at that ugly wall!… They [Western Europe] would feel a lot safer if they themselves, by uniting, can become the strongest power—stronger than Russia—with their own nuclear deterrent! Fear of Russia, plus distrust of the United States, is driving them to this political-military union! And today it is coming fast!” (ibid.).
Continuing to predict, in the face of a Europe divided and separated by the Berlin Wall, the future uniting of Europe into a great union of nation-states, he wrote over nine years prior to the collapse of the wall: “This coming ‘United States of Europe’ is the dream of many leaders—not only within Europe, but in Britain and America. The Common Market is only its beginning.
“Every indication is that this advance news will be current news. And it will completely stun the world! Yet the Plain Truth has reported this news in advance for the past 46 years!” (Plain Truth, March 1980).
Mr. Armstrong commented on how religions do not understand the true import of Bible prophecy. He stated, “They conclude, the prophecy of Ezekiel 38 foretells a military invasion of the North American continent from the Soviet Union. But this is not what the prophecy says” (Plain Truth, May 1986).
With vision empowered by God’s Holy Spirit, he looked ahead, way past the rise and fall of the future Euro-superpower, to declare that the peoples of the U.S. and Britain would not face an invasion involving Russia “until after the Second Coming of Christ.”
Within four years of Herbert Armstrong’s death, the Berlin Wall crashed to the ground. Today, only a small remnant remains as a memorial to the 28 years it stood as the dividing line in the most intense years of cold war between East and West. Germany has united, its capital moved from Bonn to historic Berlin, the hub of Europe. The Soviet Union is shattered. Russia now struggles to limit the northward push of Islam at its southern border in the Caucasus and seeks to draw a line to limit any further westward moves by its old Soviet satellite countries.
Astoundingly, 55 years after the first edition of the Plain Truth forecast the reunion of Western Europe with its old Roman Empire sister countries in the East, the die was cast for that to happen with the fall of the Berlin Wall. Even now, ten of those former Eastern bloc countries await formal recognition by the EU as member countries of the resurrected Roman Empire.
Now, having reviewed and reflected on the constancy of the message of the Plain Truth magazine, under Mr. Armstrong’s leadership—on this core prophecy of a future United States of Europe, under one great dictatorial leader, influenced by a great religious body, surpassing the U.S. and Britain in the sheer power of its trade, industry, commerce and military force—let us compare these predictions with the current reality of world news!
Let us first take Mr. Armstrong’s prediction from the inaugural edition of the Plain Truth and do a quantum leap of 66 years to measure that forecast against current events in Europe.
“It is commonly known today that Mussolini’s whole aim is to restore the ancient Roman Empire in all its former splendor, power and glory—and Rome ruled the world!” (Plain Truth, Feb. 1934).
One year later, Mussolini achieved his aim. Reflecting on this bit of history, Mr. Armstrong wrote, 46 years later, “Then Revelation 17:8 shows the partial revival of this empire under Mussolini—after he took Ethiopia, adding it to Italian Somaliland, Eritrea, Libya and Italy—officially naming it ‘the Roman Empire.’
“These prophecies depict detailed advance news of one more, last revival of this empire, yet to occur, by a union of ten nations in Europe” (Plain Truth, March 1980).
Referring to a ten-nation combine in Europe, Mr. Armstrong took his reference from verse 12 of the 17th chapter of Revelation, which states, “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.”
There are presently 15 nations in the European Union. The Union’s enlargement policy is set to draft numerous Eastern European and Mediterranean countries into its ambit. So, why specify ten nations? We know that the Scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35). So what is the explanation? We have thought that this may mean ten groups of nations, under ten separate leaders. It is distinctly possible that with the EU considering adding at least 12 more countries to the union, a system of administration may be developed grouping certain nation-states, each group coming under a senior European Commissioner. For instance, the Balkans could be administered again under one governor, as in Marshal Tito’s day. The EU is presently considering such a system.
“The powers of Romano Prodi, the European Commission President, should be increased greatly to allow an enlarged European Union to function effectively, says a report…published in Brussels today…. Under the new blueprint, each country, however small, would almost certainly retain one commissioner in the larger EU. But the president would be elevated above his expanding team and would be able to create senior and junior posts…. Eurocrats say that ending the system under which all commissioners are technically of equal status and unsackable will increase greatly the president’s power and is the only way to make the future executive manageable” (Daily Telegraph, Oct. 18, 1999; emphasis mine). As the Spectator had observed, already German representative Bodo Hombach is heading a virtual “supranational government” in the Balkans (Aug. 7, 1999).
Something else to contemplate here is the fact that European royalty is suddenly becoming more popular. Whereas the kings of Spain and Greece returned from exile decades ago, Italy is presently considering the prospect of its regent returning home. Yugoslavia’s king has raised the prospect recently of re-uniting Yugoslavia under the crown. The fashion for royalty has also hit Germany.
“The late royals of the House of Hohenzollern that ruled Germany for six centuries and united its fractious fiefdoms in 1871 are now experiencing a resurrection of respect and a more public profile in the freshly minted presentation of history in this newly restored capital [Berlin]” (The Times [London], Dec. 24, 1999).
We need to keep watching Europe to see just how this very precise prophecy of ten kings or governors of groups of nation-states in the federation of Europe, predicted in the Plain Truth for decades, comes to pass.
The catalyst for political union—the removal of national sovereignty by the imposition of a common European currency—had been predicted in the pages of the Plain Truth 30 years prior to it becoming a reality. “At present no single European currency is strong enough to replace the dollar in international trade. But an emergency situation might drive Europe to speed up unification and adopt a common currency based on their combined gold reserves” (Oct. 1967).
When Germany took over the presidency of the European Union for its six-month term last year, a British newspaper reported, “Gerhard Schröder, the chancellor, and his team have left their partners in no doubt that Bonn aims to use its turn at the helm to assert German interests aggressively,
especially over EU finances…. Joschka Fischer, the Foreign Minister, said that the euro had just promoted the EU to the ‘world league’…. John Redwood, the Shadow Trade and Industry secretary, said…’The German minister has clearly stated that this single currency scheme is part of a much bigger package to bring about a federal Europe’” (Electronic Telegraph, Jan. 2, 1999).
“Even during World War II, while Allied bombers were busily pounding Germany to a shattered, bleak pile of rubble, Mr. Armstrong was warning his listeners and readers that Germany was going to rise again! They didn’t believe it.
“Look about you now!
“Were the warnings sound? Were they true? Have they happened?” (Plain Truth, Feb. 1957). Such were the challenging questions put by a Plain Truth writer 12 years after Germany’s defeat in World War II.
By the mid ’60s, when the most evident initiative of union in Europe was still in trade and commerce, the Plain Truth had already noted an increasing urge within the Common Market for political unity. “Yet if 300 million Europeans were united and could speak with one voice, this would excel any might in the world today…. One thing you can count on. In fact it is so sure you can bank on it: The cry of a political union in Europe will get louder and before long we will see the Common Market develop into a United States of Europe. You won’t have to wait long!” (Plain Truth, Sept. 1967).
One of the senior writers of the Plain Truth in the 1970s wrote, “For nearly 30 years the Plain Truth magazine and the World Tomorrow broadcast have been telling the world that Europe would unite—that a United States of Europe was as certain as the rising of tomorrow’s sun” (Feb. 1970).
Just last year, using that very same term, the Weekly Telegraph reported, “Germans drive towards United States of Europe: Germany’s new red-green leadership has been unveiling its blueprint for a federal Europe built on the back of the newly launched euro. The moves will fuel euro-skeptic fears that monetary merger was merely a step on the road to a United States of Europe. As holder of the EU presidency until July, Germany wants to capitalize on the momentum of the euro’s birth to set Europe firmly on the road to a federal future” (Weekly Telegraph, Jan. 20-26, 1999).
Although Germany is the prime mover in all these efforts, in order to dispel any idea that the country may have expansionist intentions, these initiatives have generally been made under the cloak of being for the common good of the European Union.
The Plain Truth had summed up this subterfuge years ago in these words: “This realization explains why West Germany has tried so hard for so long to bring about common community positions on one front after another. In addition, by always espousing the common European cause, she is less suspect of nationalistic motivations. After all, Word War II is not that far in the past” (Plain Truth, Oct. 1976).
But, since Germany’s first “baby boomer” chancellor came to power, all that is changing. Germany may have fresher-faced men in their 40s at the helm of government now, but German institutions have been manned at senior levels over the past 50 years of its massive post-war growth by the old guard which supported Hitler’s Third Reich!
“Where are the geopoliticians, the lawyers, the judges, the teachers, the magistrates, the policemen, the young businessmen, the members of the many branches of the armed forces, the former members of Hitler Youth, the party workers, the industrialists who supported Hitler to the hilt, the propagandists, the fifth column agents—and all the rest?
“Simple. They’re right back where they used to be! Today, for example, 60 percent of the lawyers, judges, civil service workers, Bürgermeisters (mayors) and magistrates in the one state of Bavaria are known former Nazis.
“Nearly ALL the top industrialists in the Ruhr are former Nazis. Members of the present government—including the cdu—are known, card-carrying, former Nazis” (Plain Truth, Dec. 1963).
The Christian Democratic Union (cdu) dominated post-war German politics for 33 years. It is the bastion of German corporatism and German-style conservatism. It is now revealed that the cdu was supported by a sophisticated system of illegal funding via contributions from Germany’s corporate and industrial moguls—many of them, no doubt, those same “card-carrying former Nazis.” Former Chancellor Kohl is now indicted on charges of having received over $5.5 million to support the cdu. His explanation?
“Perhaps the clue lies in a little phrase the 69-year-old former chancellor used as he quit. He said he had always tried to do his ‘duty.’… ‘It’s a very old-fashioned excuse,’ said Joachim Krauze, a political analyst. ‘People in this country have done terrible things and justified them by referring to duty’” (International Herald Tribune, Jan. 20, 2000).
No longer is a lone voice crying out a warning on the drastic and inevitable results of the foolishness of Britain and the U.S. in financing and promoting the rise of a united Europe. Some of the more astute politicians are now crying out that same warning: “Baroness Thatcher last night fiercely attacked plans for a European defense structure, saying it would threaten nato and could help to create a European superstate…. Taking the unusual step of attacking British government policy from abroad, she put the drive towards a separate European defense on the same level as the single European currency. Both were aimed at ‘the utopian venture of creating a single European superstate to rival America on the world stage’” (The Times [London], Dec. 8, 1999).
Now, 55 years down the track from disastrous defeat at the hands of the Allied forces, what is Europe’s view of Germany? “The publication…of a taboo-breaking French book, On the Next War with Germany, was hardly designed to soothe nerves. Its author, Philippe Delmas, a senior civil servant and former speech-writer for a French foreign minister, Roland Dumas, argues that ‘fear of Germany is back’ and is again ‘the greatest political force in Europe. Germany seems threatening, despite itself, and nowhere more so than in France!’… The spectacle of a reunited Germany is discomfiting. And the French now seem to acknowledge that Germany is politically the most influential, as well as economically the most powerful, country in Europe” (Economist, March 6-12, 1999).
The expansionist policies of the Italian and German dictatorships of the 1930s and early ’40s were spurred to some degree by a lust for land, resources and cheap (slave) labor. Whereas Italy had seized holdings in Northern Africa, Germany first looked east on the continent of Europe for its expansion. Herbert Armstrong came to understand a pivotal biblical prophecy which forecast a repetition of this recent history.
“We are now looking for the tenth and last resurrection of the Roman Empire—the seventh head of this beast of the 17th chapter of Revelation (Rev. 17:12), which is also pictured by the ten toes of Nebuchadnezzar’s image of Daniel 2:40-44. Since these toes were on the two feet that represented Eastern and Western Europe, there is strong likelihood that this final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire will include Iron Curtain nations of Eastern Europe as well as nations in Western Europe” (Plain Truth, March 1986).
A startling news report appeared five months ago in a leading international newspaper, documenting the beginning fulfillment of this prophecy: “In a sign of Germany’s shifting center of gravity, the government of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has quietly embarked on an ambitious strategy toward Central and Eastern Europe that is designed to expand its influence and shore up stability on the nation’s most troublesome flank. With the seat of government now ensconced here in the heart of Europe [Berlin], Germany is striving to project its brand of ‘soft power’ across the continent….
“The new focus of Germany’s attention and resources is viewed suspiciously as a discreet crusade to expand the nation’s influence and penetration into new markets emerging as a potential ‘Teutonic Bloc’ from the remnants of the defunct Soviet empire….
“‘It’s only natural that the eastern part of the continent will become our preoccupation for years to come, because Germans see this as a matter of historical destiny,’ said Immo Stabreit, a former German ambassador to Paris. ‘The most fundamental priority we have is trying to integrate all of Europe” (International Herald Tribune, Sept. 11-12, 1999).
Apart from the unification of Germany, the destabilization of the Balkan Peninsula was a key platform in the long-term scenario of those who have striven for Drang nach Osten, Germany’s eastward expansion, since the Nazis went underground at the close of World War II.
The Vatican and Germany deliberately moved to supply the spark to this destabilization in 1991, through the recognition of Croatia and Slovenia as nation-states separate from greater Yugoslavia. Yet 20 years earlier, the Plain Truth forecast this very event: “There is strong feeling in Yugoslavia today for the need to integrate that country into a strong Europe in order to offset the Soviet threat.
“This is especially true in the northern republics of Croatia and Slovenia, Roman Catholic by religion…. There is certainly the likelihood that Yugoslavia could eventually become part of a powerful, united Europe, whose nucleus today is the European Common Market” (Plain Truth, Nov. 1971).
Reinforcing the prospect of an eastern and western division to the European Union, Herbert Armstrong wrote in a co-worker letter dated August 27, 1980: “Will Poland free itself from Soviet domination and join with Yugoslavia, Romania and possibly Czechoslovakia—and with Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and Austria—in a resurrected medieval ‘Holy Roman Empire’ to dominate Europe and equal the USSR and the USA in world power?”
Plain Truth News Bureau director Gene Hogberg, referring to this letter, commented, “The original Roman Empire was broken into two ‘legs’—the eastern empire in Byzantium (later Constantinople, today Istanbul) and the empire in the West in Rome. Thus it is very possible that the restored end-time system will be composed of two distinct yet cooperative parts: the first comprising some of the present Common Market nations of Western Europe, the second from Central and Eastern Europe” (Plain Truth, Feb. 1981).
We can only now look back in amazement at the Plain Truth predicting, as it did, ten years before the event, the Vatican-inspired dislocation of Yugoslavia by the recognition of Croatia and Slovenia as separate nation states.
“What if Catholics throughout Eastern Europe, responding to the Soviet dilemma, rose up in a united revolt against Moscow?… The potential is there; witness Pope John Paul II’s electrifying visit to Poland last year.
“The Vatican’s renewed desire to unite the Roman Catholic with the Orthodox churches—even extending overtures to the Muslim world—in a united front against atheistic communism could have a particularly interesting application in Yugoslavia, given its religious makeup.
“Europe—both in its eastern and western halves—could be in for tumultuous change” (Plain Truth, April 1980).
That change has occurred! The total insensitivity in choosing to send the Luftwaffe in to bomb Yugoslav targets during the Kosovo War was summed up by the New York Times: “For the first time since the end of World War II, German fighter jets have gone to war, taking part in the attack on Yugoslavia as part of a nato force and marking this country’s definitive emancipation from the post-war pacifism…. Europe has changed and Germany has changed with it…. German participation in air raids on Yugoslavia is potentially explosive, for it will confirm every dark Serbian suspicion about the West. If there has been a single obsession in Serbian policy this century, it has been to prevent what Belgrade sees as German expansionism in the Balkans” (March 26, 1999).
That the chief winner in the recent Balkan wars has been Germany should be unquestioned. With sleight of hand, deft diplomacy and political and financial skullduggery, the German government has wormed its way into a position of leadership and influence in the coveted, strategic Balkan Peninsula.
“If one country has had her political authority strengthened by the conflict [in Kosovo], it is not Britain, but Germany…. The Germans have moved swiftly to cash in on the peace…. Even before the first cruise missile was launched, the German foreign minister was drawing up plans for uniting the entire Balkan area under one government. This plan, which eluded Stalin and Dimitrov in 1947, and which in different ways destroyed both the Austrian and the Ottoman empires, is now safely in the bag. It is called the European Union’s Stability Pact…. In reality, it imposes supranational government on the whole of southeastern Europe from the Black Sea to the Adriatic. Funnily enough, a German has been appointed to run it. Bodo Hombach…is the most powerful man in Chancellor Schröder’s government and the chief representative of German economic interests…. The Germans, moreover, have won the key posts in the new European Commission. They now control the two crucial policy areas for the next five years: the EU budget and the enlargement process” (Spectator, Aug. 7, 1999).
The Vatican-German influence in today’s European Union has almost completely disintegrated the old federation of Yugoslav states, softening it up for “reconstruction” in preparation for wholesale takeover by the EU.
The Scarlet Woman
The Plain Truth continually made reference to Europe forming a church-state union, under the auspices of the Vatican. Since the launching of the Trumpet, this has also been a subject of further incisive analysis and reporting by this magazine.
Bible prophecy pointed to the necessity of some power to glue the fractious nations of Europe together. After all, Daniel’s prophecy likened the final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire to a brittle mix of iron and clay (Dan. 2:41-43). Matching Daniel 7 with Revelation 13 and 17, the Plain Truth understood that glue would be religion.
“When Europe is finally united under the leadership of ‘strong men,’ the pope will be able to come forth with his plan for world peace! This world union will, ‘by common consent,’ give its united strength to the hands of the leader approved by the pope! Read Revelation 17:13!” (Plain Truth, July 1962).
We have heard this present pope’s cry for Europe to return to its roots! We are witnessing, this year, the greatest crusade ever in the history of modern Catholicism to win the world over to the Vatican cause. This jubilee year the pope has pulled out all stops. Using public relations “spin doctors,” pop-rock artists performing at Vatican rock concerts, the buy-up of radio stations in the U.S. in particular by wealthy Catholic corporate moguls, the pomp and ceremony of papal visits to Israel and to the Palestinians, the “year of forgiveness,” with the Vatican seeking to be absolved of all its past atrocities—all this is destined to promote the image of the papacy in the eyes of the world as heading the chief of religions. The pope as peace-broker has been a favorite theme of the Vatican.
As the Plain Truth declared back in 1966, “Just as the Catholic Church once interposed her order on nations and peoples, she again is proposing to establish a ‘Christian order’ which alone is able to guarantee peace. To this goal the resources of the Church now are directed.’ So said the late Pope Pius in a Christmas broadcast on December 24, 1951” (Plain Truth, July 1966).
The Plain Truth also encouraged its readers to “Look for the Vatican to exert more influence in European affairs. Yugoslavia and the Vatican have resumed full diplomatic relations—a move that could lead to further ties between the Vatican and Eastern Europe…. The pope, encouraging European political unity, stated, ‘We note with pleasure that the German government contributes actively to the achievement of this aim.’ Vatican influence over European affairs is destined to grow in the months ahead” (Plain Truth, Aug./Sept. 1970).
Then, in June 1971, “Both sides have much to gain. The Vatican is pushing for more freedoms for Catholics behind the Iron Curtain and is hopeful for increased dialogue with the Communist nations generally on the issue of world peace and security.”
Perhaps the most impressive of predictions in relation to the Vatican’s impact on European union were the persistent forecasts of the pope’s influence in drawing the Eastern European nations out of the old Soviet Union and into mother Europe’s lap.
Consider: “…we need to understand that the one great, overall, ultimate goal is the reuniting of all Christianity into one cohesive unit under one head—the Roman pontiff—in an attempt to bring to the world the Catholic concept of peace. This plan envisions the full use of the new Europe!” (Plain Truth, Jan. 1963).
In respect of Eastern Europe, the Plain Truth declared that the papacy had its mind set on leading the diplomacy which would create the rapport between East and West Europe: “One of the biggest roles desired by the Vatican is that of mediator between East and West…. The Vatican, you can be sure, will continue to do its part in courting the Eastern European countries. Its Ostpolitik has been to bring them back into the ‘fold’ for a long time. And that is certainly the path it must continue to travel” (Feb. 1972).
Compare that observation with this Associated Press release: “Martial law had crushed the church-backed Solidarity labor movement, and Poland’s Communist rulers expected a chastened Pope John Paul II ready for compromise when he visited his homeland in 1983.
“Instead, his voice rising, the pontiff lectured a surprised party chief, Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, as the nation watched on television. History would be his judge, the pope warned, demanding that union rights be restored for the Soviet bloc’s first free trade union” (Associated Press, Jan. 9, 1998).
Result? Jaruzelski capitulated, the Vatican-funded Catholic Solidarity Movement triumphed, Poland broke the Communist yoke and then sought attachment to the European Union!
The power of this papal diplomacy was recognized in a news release by abc correspondent Bill Blakemore: “Consider it. Not only had John Paul II ignited a nonviolent revolution when he first returned as Pope in 1979, but by 1989 he had guided it with patient force till it won—the Polish Solidarity movement spread until the Berlin Wall came down and the Communists went away.
“Soviet Premier Gorbachev himself wrote later that John Paul’s philosophy and approach had ‘made a new kind of thinking possible for us all’” (abc News, June 18, 1999).
Over the past ten years, the Trumpet has well documented the continuing thrust of papal politics gradually cementing together the east and west legs of the rising United States of Europe.
One of the most startling statements made by Mr. Armstrong in the Plain Truth 48 years ago was, “The United States is determined, now, to let nothing stand in the way of building up a re-armed, independent germany. This will be the heart and core of the united Europe that will revive the Roman Empire” (June 1952).
In October 1955, the Plain Truth observed Germany’s reactions in the early years of the cold war and commented, “The concern over being America’s cannon fodder in an anti-Communist war haunts many a German!… Now we [the U.S.] are applying economic pressure on Germany to force that country to rearm.”
Germany, encouraged by the U.S., did rearm. Forty-five years later, Germany’s post-war pacifist role was broken in Kosovo. “By scrambling just four Luftwaffe Tornado fighter-bombers, Germany has crept further out of the shadow of World War II into a new military era…. It was the first time German forces had taken part directly in offensive action since the war. Participation in such an attack would have been unthinkable only a few years ago…. ‘Germany’s special status is over. We have arrived in the European community of nations’ [wrote Die Welt]” (Reuter, March 25, 1999). Barely one year following its first post-war air-combat role, Germany is literally being encouraged by the U.S. to lead a new European standing army! Diplomacy has been thrown out the window in this latest effort of the U.S. and Britain to push Germany into a pro-active military role.
The extremes to which the U.S. is prepared to go to see a German-dominated Europe better armed are reflected in the following news clip: “The primary source of concern is Germany, which…is considered an indispensable pillar of the proposed Euroforce…. ‘We are all concerned about…German defense spending,’ said U.S. Ambassador to nato Alexander Vershbow at a December 17 conference in Berlin on the European defense plan. ‘The capabilities of the European Union will be seriously jeopardized if Germany doesn’t find a way to contribute more…’” (Washington Times, Jan. 9).
Back in October 1965, the Plain Truth’s own German-based correspondent warned, “Today’s Germany is strong. It has emerged complete with an army that will soon have atomic fire-power—and a nature that has not changed.”
The Plain Truth predicted that Germany would possess atomic firepower. That was 35 years ago. By 1968 they had revealed that “America has such a large proportion of its atomic arsenal on West German soil, that, reckoning by the amount of nuclear hardware stored on its territory, Germany can be classed as potentially the second-greatest atomic power on earth!
“The weapons remain, of course, under American supervision. But the big question is, for how long?” (Plain Truth, Aug. 1968).
Agence France Presse reported on November 29, 1999, that up to 200 nuclear weapons remained stockpiled in European countries. It is believed that the bulk of these are sited on German soil.
In reference to German industry’s desire to re-enter the weapons manufacturing and sales market, the Plain Truth declared in November 1968, “An ominous note out of West Germany: The House of Krupp, which renounced weapons production after World War II, has voiced a desire for a greater role in its nation’s manufacture of military items.”
Since then, Krupp has amalgamated with the giant German conglomerate Thyssen and aided Germany to become the second-largest exporter of military hardware next to the U.S! (See story, p. 14). Added to this, the recent merger of DaimlerChrysler has thrust this corporate combine to the fore as Europe’s largest manufacturer of mobile military equipment. Hard on the heels of this merger came the joining of France’s giant Aerospatiale Matra and the German company DaimlerChrysler Aerospace, effectively merging the German and French aerospace industries into one huge enterprise and thrusting the European Union to the forefront in aerospace technology for the development of military applications!
Recently the whole world saw the failure of a U.S. anti-ballistic missile experiment. A leading U.S. think tank observed, “Last week, the Pentagon’s Ballistic Missile Defense Organization launched a missile from California into the Pacific in an attempt to shoot it down and prove that a limited national missile defense is possible. But the ongoing debate…is distracting the U.S. military from forging a space strategy that protects satellites, the keys to U.S. conventional military power” (Stratfor Global Intelligence Update, Jan. 24).
Consider the present diversion of the Pentagon in arguing over this matter (in full knowledge of their funding restrictions) in relation to the German-led drive in Europe to dominate a global defense and security strategy from outer space! In a series of blitzkrieg corporate mergers, the European Union has put together a massive conglomerate which will thrust it to the fore in military space strategy, leaving the U.S. far behind.
“The complex ownership structure proposed for the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (eads) created by the merger of France’s Aerospatiale-Matra, Germany’s DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (dasa) and Spain’s casa…brings together…a group with 96,000 employees and a turn over of about 1 billion euros ($1 billion)…. Eads “is undoubtedly the driving force in Europe…and has the inner strength to become a global leader” (Jane’s Defense Weekly, Dec. 15, 1999).
Predicting future German-led European political, economic and military expansion, Herbert Armstrong, with visionary, prophetic insight, declared 20 years ago, “You may be sure the West European leaders are conferring hurriedly and secretly about how and how soon they may unite and provide a united European military force so they can defend themselves!… And who will they blame for their humiliation and their necessity now to have a united Europe, with a united government, a common currency and a common military force as great or greater than either the USSR or the U.S.? They will blame the United States!
“And when they are strong enough to assert themselves, Bible prophecy reveals a man will rise to take the helm in Europe and will first attack Britain for standing firm with the United States, and then they will return a lot of hydrogen bombs the U.S. has stored now in Europe!
“So says Almighty God in His word! They can unite only through the Vatican. It will be a church-state union. It won’t last long, but will create havoc unprecedented!” (Plain Truth, April 1980).
We should not, then, wonder, with the benefit of God-breathed prophecy expounded in the pages of the old Plain Truth magazine, when we read that Germany’s latest military intentions span the globe!
“Rudolf Scharping, Germany’s defense minister, in a significant step towards a common defense capability, has called for Europe to set up a joint air-transport command. The proposed transport command would be important for ensuring Europe’s ability to undertake military action around the world, reducing reliance on the U.S. ‘I hope it is in the interests of every European country…to drive forward European integration…’ he said in an interview with the Financial Times” (Financial Times, Nov. 1, 1999).
In this article we can only highlight some of the most astute predictions made by the Plain Truth over the years and match them with but a minute portion of the overwhelming proof that is now available from documented history and news reports regarding their fulfillment.
It is fitting that we close with a statement from that “Ambassador for World Peace,” Herbert Armstrong, which, though published the year before his death, 14 years ago, remains as up to date now as the day it was written: “These prophecies depict detailed advance news of one more, last revival of this empire, yet to occur, by a union of ten nations, or groups of nations, in Europe.
“This coming ‘United States of Europe’ is the dream of many leaders—not only within Europe, but in Britain and America. The Common Market is only its economic beginning.
“Every indication is that this advance news will be current news. And it will completely stun the world! Yet the Plain Truth has reported this news in advance for the past 51 years!” (Plain Truth, June 1985).
Truly that which was advance news then is today’s current news. It remains but for the final two leaders in Europe, the one political and the other spiritual, to rise to power to reveal the final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire in all its future and final infamy.